The impact of slaughter age on performance, carcass traits, properties of cut-up pieces of carcasses, and muscle development in broiler chickens

ÇOBAN Ö., LAÇİN E., AKSU M. İ., KARA A. A., Sabuncuoglu N.

EUROPEAN POULTRY SCIENCE, vol.78, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 78
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1399/eps.2014.60
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Broilers, age, economic analysis, histological parameters, meat quality, carcass quality, MEAT QUALITY, BREAST, COLOR
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: No


This study aimed at investigating the impact of increased slaughter age on profitability, growth performance, carcass traits and cut-up pieces of carcasses in broiler chickens. For this purpose, 77 day-old male Ross 308 chicks were used. Parameters, pertaining to broiler chickens slaughtered at 42 and 56 days of age, were compared. Using the weekly body weight and feed consumption data of the animals the daily body weight gains and feed conversion rates of the broiler chickens were estimated by the Gompertz growth model. Accordingly, it was calculated that the highest profit per batch would be obtained with broiler chickens slaughtered at 49 days of age (0.450 (sic)/chicken). From 50 days of age, profitability was reduced as a result of decreased body weight gain and increased feed conversion rates. The carcass yield of the broiler chickens slaughtered at 56 days of age was ascertained to be 1.4% higher. In broiler chickens slaughtered at 42 and 56 days of age the mean area of the superficial pectoral muscle was determined as 1,950 mu m(2) and 2,460 mu m(2), respectively, while the mean area of the biceps femoris muscle was determined as 1,692 mu m(2) and 2,271 mu m(2), respectively. With increased slaughter age, the neck yield (%) decreased and leg yield (%) increased (p < 0.01). Slaughter age was also observed to have an effect on the redness of breast meat (P < 0.01).